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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Unschooling and Crazy Weather


Unschooling is the same today for my kids as it is any other day.  But different for mom.  Maybe I'm finally deschooled enough to breathe?  Doubtful.  I can never get off the hook that easily. 

This week has been interesting, as most weeks usually are.  The beginning of the week featured a Tropical Storm, Beryl.  Lots of wind, rain, flooding, and some minor damage at our house.  Quite interesting, as one can imagine. We even lost power for a while, which frightened my younger daughter.  My kids learned about being prepared, and how even a Tropical Storm, though not a hurricane, can cause damage.

Yesterday we cleaned out the top of the coat closet.  This is where we store our games.  We successfully weeded out about 1/3 of the games... ones that were missing pieces, or games that we no longer wanted.  It was sort of fascinating going through each game, counting pieces... and my youngest inquiring how exactly each game is played.  And then, we ended up playing a few games.  There is a tin, and inside are several small wooden games with pegs and dice.  My daughter played independently for a while, and then we moved on to Connect Four.  Initially my eldest and I played.  Then she moved aside for my youngest.  Robyn asked me exactly how to play, and we did a 'trial' game so I could show her the different angles and ways to win or to block your opponent.  Then we played a game, but I "took it easy" on her.  After that, all bets were off.  I found that my daughter is quite a competitive player, and she easily beat me just as many times as I was able to beat her.  She's a great player!   

We had a "Scruples" game, that I'd had for many years... over 20 actually.  I was going to put it in the 'discard' stack, but my kids were curious... we ended up opening it up, and not necessarily 'playing' the game, but asking the questions and then discussing them.  It was really interesting, and we all decided we'd hang on to the game... discussion questions are fun!

Early this morning, my eldest daughter found a new advert on Craigslist.  Someone was offering a guinea pig, the cage, food, hay, treats, and toys... all free to a good home.  My youngest lost her pet guinea pig a few months back, and has been pleading for a new piggie to love.  This could not have worked out better!  We met the young lady at our parish, and she passed the piggie and her stuff to us, and she was obviously happy that her piggie had a new home where she will be loved.  My daughter was so happy she cried, and she thanked the nice lady for choosing our family.  The piggie is a female, and only about 6 months old.  My daughter has named her Phoebe.  




This afternoon, a severe storm came up suddenly.  The thunder and lightening were unusually bad sounding.  Storms are daily during the summer months here, so we are used to them... but this one just sounded "wrong".  It was fast moving, and started dropping large hail.  Thank God we only got a few pieces.  I'd stepped into a back room, and heard the front door slamming.  My eldest was chasing our flag... which had been ripped off the front of our house, down the street.  A huge limb came down, and the drainpipes on both sides of the house were ripped off.  Apparently, a small tornado touched down just a few streets away.  What we got was the outer winds of it.  It went all the way down the street between our neighborhood and the area where my sister lives.  (We live about a half mile apart)  My sister calls me a few minutes later, and tells me it ripped the screen out of her porch and had uprooted a large tree!  The street that connects us, is the one the tornado went down.  It knocked down trees and power lines all the way down that street.  Scary, and incredible!   Of course, all this led to a tornado discussion, as well as watching some informative videos on YouTube.  Scary stuff!  What are the odds we'd get a tropical storm and a tornado (both unrelated to each other) all in the same week?!  Crazy!!  I am just happy we're all okay and no one was hurt.  (you can see pictures and read the article here:  http://www.news4jax.com/news/Storms-rip-through-Westside-flood-Southside/-/475880/14416258/-/hm72u/-/index.html)

Now it's late afternoon.  My eldest is having a nap.  (lucky thing!)  And my youngest has put Phoebe back into her cage, and is now reading up on what to do in case of emergencies in a preparedness book. :)   

Tonight we'll be watching Sherlock Holmes.  My eldest is addicted, and has gotten me and her sister loving it too.  After finishing up all the Sherlock Holmes we can find, we'll move on to Doctor Who. And maybe play a game or two, or possibly make a craft. Sounds good to us!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Hurricane Season & Summertime in Florida


Hurricane season has begun.  Well, not really til Friday... but since we just had three days of rain from Tropical Storm Beryl I guess we can say it has officially started.   Beryl showed up Sunday, and didn't leave until last night (Tuesday night).  She took a lady's roof off of her house, blew down a lot of trees, trashed signs in front of businesses, flooded roads and neighborhoods.... and.... for us personally... she blew down a huge limb in our side yard and ripped of part of our gutter and drain pipe.  I am just thankful that no harm was done to our one year old roof.   


Living in Florida, I realize, makes us "sitting ducks" as far as the rest of the world is concerned.   Hurricane Andrew that devastated South Florida was almost twenty years ago.   Yes, we do have our share of puny storms... but contrary to popular belief we don't get big storms regularly...  actually I can count on one hand the ones of significance we've even had in my 40+ years of life.  Generally, my attitude is "hurricane, shmurricane", and shrug it off.   Most are just rain-makers.  But I admit that Beryl made me nervous.... I fear damage to my home.  She might not have been a hurricane, but she was head-on.  

Here in the "River City", we have seven major bridges.  Which means you have to cross a bridge to get anywhere.  Through out our city, which, by the way, is barely above sea-level, is entwined creeks and branches of the river.  Literally, there is water everywhere here.  Heavy rains cause flooding.  Fortunately our neighborhood is on "built up" land, so it won't flood our neighborhood.  Would a Cat 5 flood us?  Probably, if it came close... or, God forbid, hit us head on.   Personally, I think a Cat 5 head on would wipe us off the map.  

Like other Floridians, we keep our emergency supplies handy during hurricane season.  Canned food, water, candles, oil lamps, batteries, flashlights, waterproof matches, a solar powered//hand crank short wave radio.... and more I can't think of.   Just "normal" stuff for us, since we have hurricane season every year without fail and it is instilled in us how to prepare.  Even children who were raised here know what to do. :)   Part of our Southern DNA, I guess. :)

Living in Florida means lots of lightening... we are the Lightening Capitol here.  Hurricanes... ultra mild winters... only two seasons... Summer, and January.... and we have weather that can and will drastically change in literally 5 minutes.. 

I hate hearing people bad-mouth it here.  If you don't like it here, then MOVE BACK UP NORTH!!!  Yes, it's hot here!  It's Florida!   It's sub-tropical... which means lots of heat, rain, humidity, and very lush vegetation.  And yes.  Bugs and snakes.  Sorry... those go with a hot and humid climate.  I don't like them either, but since I'm a second generation Florida Native, I know that like them or not, they are Natives too.  And it's just something you learn to deal with.

In North Florida, we have Southern accents.  Orlando and below is more Cuban, but there are still those with Southern accents in South Florida, but not as prominent as it is in North Florida.  We love swings, shady trees, sweet iced tea, and breezy afternoons.... and cooking.  Food = Love in the South.  That's something else that is just bred into us.  

I have a love/hate relationship with summer here in Florida.  I HATE the heat.  I hate it with every ounce of my being.  But, I love how gorgeous everything is in the summer... I love the smell after the rain when everything has that earthy smell.  Very lush... very green.  Very Florida.   I love our Thunderstorms.  They rock! :)   We do have a healthy respect for the lightening... best to stay indoors!!   

Here's to a gorgeous and fun Summer!! :)



Wednesday, May 23, 2012

I Matter



 I Matter

Maybe not everyone thinks so.  But I do.  I matter.   I am a person.  I have thoughts, feelings, and a heart.   I hurt.  I cry.  I live, laugh, and love.  My feelings are hurt when someone thinks I am "weird", "mental", "too religious", or whatever ugly label you want to give me.

Maybe I am a little weird.  So what?  Aren't we all a little weird in our own way?  Just because I have a different view of things than you does not make me "weird".  It only means I have my own opinion.  It doesn't hurt or take away from 'your' opinion... Can't two "adults" agree to disagree without labeling?

Maybe I 'am' a little mental.  What's your definition of "mental"?   Someone who thinks different?   Someone who prefers a natural approach to things?   A Catholic?   Someone who does not conform and thinks for themselves?

What if someone says I am "too religious".   Hmmm... what does this person think of priests and nuns?   Certainly no one would accuse them of being "too religious" since being "religious" is "expected" of them.   Why do you feel I am 'too' religious?   Because I don't hide my faith and save it for mass on Sunday?  Does it bother you that I actually try and live my faith?  Does the fact that I love my faith take away my worth as a person in your eyes?   Am I too uncool for you?  Or you think I don't have the right "quality"?

Here's something for you to put in your pipe and smoke....   I matter.  I matter because I was created by God, and he made me the way I am as part of His plan.  My flaws are my own, and not His.  God does not make junk.  He does not make things that don't matter.  

Whether or not you think I "matter" or not, does NOT matter.  I am not here to please you, or anyone else.  This is not a popularity contest, and not a test on being "cool" or whatever.   

If you think I am "too religious", then I'd say (a), you don't know me as well as you think you do, and (b) is something nagging your conscience, perhaps stirring up a little guilt?   Jesus said we would suffer for Him...  and any Christian that does not hide their beliefs DOES... but we can't really complain... after all, look what they did to Him.   If they're going to crucify Jesus Himself, then being annoyed by some middle aged Catholic woman is nothing.  Trust me... you're not hurting me.   I just feel sad that you have shunned me because my faith 'bothers' you.... 

So, my being "weird", "too religious" and "mental" doesn't really sound too bad.   Because what it MEANS is that I love God and don't hide my faith and nor am I ashamed of it.  It means I think outside the box and don't necessarily eat by the spoonful every bit of garbage that society dishes out.  I am faithful to my faith, and won't budge on immoral issues... but I also won't conform to what everyone else thinks, says, and does... I have my own mind, my own free spirit... and most importantly, my faith...  so yes... I do matter.  I count.  I have a voice.  I have a prayer.  I have a heart filled with love...  and unfortunately I have a frail human need to feel accepted.  But, accepted or not, I won't back down on my faith.  

The mighty tree was once just a little nut who stood it's ground.  So, I must take that little nut's example. :)    That mighty oak certainly "matters" to all those who enjoy it's shade, and the animals that nest in it's branches...   we can all take a lesson in it.

I DO LOVE Being Southern,...


“SOUTHERN THANGS”


None of this is mine... I copied every bit of this off of the internet... but I believe every word of it. :)  It just FITS!!!!

“In the South a front porch without a swing is like tea without sugar, incomplete”
I am proud to be from the South-where tea is sweet and accents are sweeter; summer starts in April; front porches are wide and words are long; macaroni and cheese is a vegetable; pecan pie is a staple; Y’all is the only proper pronoun; chicken is fried and biscuits come w/ gravy; everything is darling and someone is always getting their heart blessed. Have a good day y’all! –Kill-Basa Bill
This page is dedicated to anything Southern such as quotes, jokes, photos.
Just wanted to mention some Southern movies that are real good movies:  Song of the South is a great children’s movie about the South and Southern Stories.
Slingblade is a great Southern movie that shows the friendship of a boy to a mentally handicapped man with the slowness and depth found in small towns all over the South.
And we can’t forget Gone With The Wind is a 1939 American drama romance film. The epic film set in the American South in and around the time of the Civil War, tells a story of the Civil War and its aftermath from a white Southern viewpoint.
It received ten Academy Awards, a record that stood for twenty years. Today, it is considered one of the greatest and most popular films of all time and one of the most enduring symbols of the golden age of Hollywood. When adjusted for inflation, Gone with the Wind remains the highest grossing film of all time in North America and the UK
A FEW SOUTHERN EXPRESSHUNS:
1.  Too lazy to hit a lick at a snake
2.  So tired ah’m dead on mah feet
3.  Crooked az a dawg’s hind laigs
4.  Grinnin’ like a baked possum
5.  Fastah than greased lightnin
6.  Slow az molasses in January
7.  High az a kite
8.  Dry az a bone
9.  Wild az a buck
10.Blind az a bat
 
ABOUT SOUTHERN WOMEN
 
Southern women know their summer weather report:
Hot
Humid
Sticky
 
Southern women know their vacation spots:
The beach
The rivuh
The crick
 
Southern women know everybody’s first name:
Honey
Darlin’
Shuga’
Punkin’
Dumplin’
 
Southern women know the movies that speak right to their cotton-pickin’ hearts:
Fried Green Tomatoes
Driving Miss Daisy
Steel Magnolias
Gone With The Wind
Sweet Home Alabama
Southern women know their religions:
Catholic
Protestant
Heathen
Football
 
Southern women have a distinct way with fond expressions :
“Y’all come back!”
“Well, bless your heart.”
” Drop by when you can.”
“How’s your Momma?”
Southern women know their cities dripping with Southern charm:
Chawl’stn
S’vanah
Foat Wuth
N’awlins
Addlanna or ‘Lanna
 
Southern women know their elegant gentlemen:
Men in uniform
Men in tuxedos
Rhett Butler
 
Southern girls know their prime real estate:
The Mall
The Spa
The Beauty Salon
 
 
Southern girls know the 3 deadly sins:
Having bad hair, heels and nails
Having bad manners
Cooking bad food
 
  • SUTHERN DEFINITIONS

    Airish – cool
    Biggety – hauty
    Buzzard Bait – worn out hoss
    Cow grease – buttah
    Fahunah – not a native southernah
    Hoppin Mad – angry
    Jump the broom – marry
    Kitchen safe – cupboard
    Lunk haid – dumb
    Mitey nigh – almost
    Marble orchard – cemetary
    No a’count – good for nothing
    Persnickity – strange or peculiar
    Pig Trail – small side road
    Rot Gut – bad liquor
    Shet – close
    Tolerable – feelin pretty good
    Well heeled – well off
SOUTHERN POEMS
SOUTHERN LIFE
If you want a glimpse of Southern life,
Come close and walk with me;
I’ll tell you all the simple things,
That you are sure to see.
You’ll see mockingbirds and bumblebees,
Magnolia blossoms and dogwood trees;
Caterpillars on the step,
Wooden porches cleanly swept;
Watermelons on the vine,
Strong majestic Georgia pines
Rocking chairs and front yard swings
Junebugs flying on a string
Turnip greens and hotcornbread,
Coleslaw and barbecue
Fried okra, fried corn,fried green tomatoes,
Fried pies and pickles too.
There’s ice cold tea that ‘s syrupy sweet,
And cool, green grass beneath your feet;
Catfish nipping in the lake,
And fresh young boys on the make.
You’ll see all these things
And much, much more,
In a way of life, that I adore.
Copyright 2008 Patricia Neely-Dorsey (I found this poem on the internet and I absolutely love it! It surely is a glimpse of Southern life)

THE TEN COMMANDMENTS OF GRITS

1. Thou shalt not put syrup on thy Grits.
2. Thou shalt not eat Cream of Wheat and call it Grits; for this is blasphemy.
3. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbors Grits.
4. Thou shalt only use Salt, Butter and Cheese as toppings for thy Grits.
5. Thou shalt not eat Instant Grits.
6. Thou shalt not put syrup on thy Grits.
7. Thou shalt not put syrup on thy Grits.
8. Thou shalt not put syrup on thy Grits.
9. Thou shalt not put sugar on thy Grits either.
10. Thou shalt not put sugar or syrup on thy Grits
Southerners have a strong sense of regional heritage. We are proud of our turnip greens, cornbread, sweet tea, rural pasts and Southern drawls. We are card-carrying Southerners
You can take the girl out of the South, but you can’t take the South out of the girl!
I am proud to be from the South – Where we drink sweet tea by the gallon.Bake cornbread by the “pone”. Eat collard greens and grits,love family, house and home.Pick a “mess” of beans or fry a “mess” of fish. Love some good old barbecue served upon a dish.Summer weather, humid and hot with days that are long.We love the laid-back Southern ways and keep tradition strong. –Judy Parker Yeager
Sweet tea is the house wine of the South!
Only a Southerner can show or point out to you the general direction of “yonder.”
A true Southerner knows you don’t scream obscenities at little old ladies who drive 30 MPH on the freeway. You just say,”Bless her heart” .. and go your own way.
You seldom hear a Southerner say, “I’ll have grapefruit and grapes instead of biscuits and gravy.”
Only Southerners grow up knowing the difference between “right near” and “a right far piece.” They also know that “just down the road” can be 1 mile or 20.
Southern women are great hostesses, raise their children “right”, and seem tender and innocent, but cross a Southern woman and it’s like fighting a grizzly bear!
Even Southern babies know that “Gimme some sugar” is not a request for the white, granular sweet substance that sits in a pretty little bowl in the middle of the table.
Southerners make friends while standing in lines, … and when we’re “in line,” . we talk to everybody!
When you hear someone say, “Well, I caught myself lookin’,” you know you are in the presence of a genuine Southerner!
The 4 seasons are different in the South.
To Southern women the four seasons are: onions, celery, bell pepper and garlic.
To Southern men the four seasons are: deer season, squirrel season, turkey season, and dove season.
Southern men like Southern women with soft voices and gentle manners and a plate of fried chicken and biscuits on the table!
All Southerners know exactly when “by and by” is.
Only a Southerner knows the difference between a hissie fit and a conniption fit, and that you don’t “HAVE” them, you “PITCH” them.
Southern boys are raised “right” by their Southern mommas and when they grow up they compare all women to her.
Southerners know grits come from corn and how to eat them!
Southerners know you don’t cook meals, you “fix” them!
All Southerners know the term, “Bless your heart”, has many different meanings!
Southern hospitality is a way of life in the South; an easiness and friendliness with people that makes them feel welcomed.
Nothing warms the heart like Southern cooking.
Southerners know that rocking chairs and porch swings are guaranteed stress relievers.
Southerners know you can’t be considered a serious Southern cook if you don’t know how to make peach cobbler.  – Trisha Yearwood
Southerners take barbecuing very seriously from their many sauces to their cooking techniques!
Southerners know that fried catfish is the other white meat!
Southerners know that no matter how old you are, your father is “Daddy” and your mother is “Mama”.
Southern women know you always clean your house before going on a trip in case you don’t come home.
A Southern woman would stay home before she wore white shoes, patent leather shoes, or linen before Easter or after Labor Day.
In the South, cooking and eating is a way that people can enjoy each other, spend time with loved ones and develop new friendships.
Southerners know how good an R.C. cola and a moonpie is at a country store!
Southerners know sorghum is the “sweet syrup of the South” and how good it is on homemade biscuits with butter.
The smell of a Southern breakfast cooking in the kitchen provides a great alarm clock.
Southerners know the positions of key hills, knobs, trees and rocks when it comes to giving directions.
Southerners know about double first names such as, Billy Ray and Bobbie Sue.
Southerners know you “cut off” the lights.
Southern music genres like gospel, bluegrass, jazz, rock, blues and country reflect Southern soul, character and culture.
Southerners equate food with love, so if you love what they cook, they’re sure to love you back. –Kim Holloway
Southerners know what it means to be “full as a tick on a hound dog”.
“It was not a Southern watermelon that Eve took: we know it because she repented”. –Mark Twain
You seldom hear a Southerner say, “I believe you cooked those green beans too long”.
Southerners are devoted to grits. We like grits-and-gravy, grits-and-ham, grits-and-sausage, grits-and-shrimp, grits-and-eggs, garlic grits, buttered grits, etc.,etc, etc.
You might be in a Southern church if the preacher says, “I’d like to ask Bubba to take up the offering”, and five guys stand up.
You seldom hear a Southerner say, “Duct tape won’t fix that!”
You might be from the South if – you learned how to make noise with a blade of grass between your thumbs –Jeanette H. Whitfield
Southerners know what, “playin possum”, means.
The most beautiful voice in the world is that of an educated Southern woman –Winston Churchill
Southerners know “just sittin there like a bump on a log” refers to one being “unknowing”.
The perfect speech would consist of the diction of the east, the vigor of the midwest and the melody of the South –Winston Churchill
In the South, roots, place, family and tradition are the essence of identity.
In the South “Jeet?” is actually a phrase meaning, “Did you eat?”
Southerners know that “afar” is a state of combustion.
In the South, sweet tea is appropriate for all meals and you start drinking it before you can walk.
Southern fathers think of their daughters as flowers of the South, so they give them floral names. Rose Ann, Violet Ann, Iris Ann, etc.
Southerners never go “snipe hunting” twice.
In the South get used to hearing, “You ain’t from ’round here, are ya?”
You might be a Southerner if:  You carry hot sauce with you wherever you go.
A Southern State Trooper stopped a pickup truck.  The trooper asked the driver, “Got any ID?” The driver said, “Bout what?”
What’s the difference between a Northern fairy tale and a Southern fairy tale?
A Northern fairy tale begins, “Once upon a time”.
A Southern fairy tale begins, ” ‘Y’all ain’t gonna believe this”.
You know you’re in the South when you can make sun tea instantly!
You might be a Southerner if you have a very special baseball cap, just for formal occasions.
Southerners know how to speak proper English.  We speak “Southern” because we want to and we can.  It’s like playing jazz, you have to know how to do it right first.
The first words out of a Southerner’s mouth when they see a friend: “Howdy!”, “Hey!” or “How Y”all Doin?”
You know you are in the South when you realize that asphalt has a liquid state.
In the South, “clone” is a type of perfume. –”What’s that clone you’re wearin dawlin?”
Southerners want to make sure you listen when they speak. Example: “Y’all come back now, y’heah?”.
Southerners carry a spare in the “boot” of the car and use the “glove compartment” for storage.
In the South a “frog strangler” is a heavy rain.  We’ve had several frog stranglers here this week.
One notable aspect of a Southern heritage is ghost stories passed down from generation to generation.
In the South, “ahr” is what we breathe or a unit of time – I will be there in an “ahr”.
In the South manners are very important and go hand-in-hand with respect. Children as well as adults answer: yes mam/sir and no mam/sir to their elders.
In the South, roots, place, family and tradition are the essence of identity.
“In the South, as in no other American region, people use language as it was surely meant to be employed; a lush, personal, emphatic, treasure of coins to be spent slowly and for value” — Time Magazine, September 1976
All over the South, you will find girls called “sister”. This is not their given name, but they are called this from birth throughout their lives.
Southern hospitality is a way of life that lets people be as warm as the climate.
In the South “backer” is a plant and you hang it in a “backer” barn.
In the South, we “air up” the tires. That means we “fill em up good”!
In the South, “bob war” is a kind of fence.
Southerners like to add an “a” prefix to their words. I am “a-baking” a cake today and I am “a-goin” to town later…
In the South, a “Booger-man” is a ghost. You had better be good or the “booger-man” will get ya!
In the South, we say “vittles”.   Mama sure could cook some good vittles.
In the South, a  “spell” can be how long you stay on a visit or a fit of some kind.
In the South if something is “outta kilter” it just ain’t right.
“We Southerners live at a leisurely pace and sharing our hospitality with our family, friends, and the stranger within our gate is one of our greatest joys.” -Winifred G. Cheney
“From the mountains of Virginia to the Texas Plains there is a Southern way of life and it begins with hospitality and a proper emphasis on good cooking.” -Winifred G. Cheney
The Southern drawl has many variations, but all are authentic Dixie. Stretch out words, add pauses, drop a “g” from “ing” and sprinkle your speech with Southern phrases like, “looks like somethin the cat drug in” or “like a chicken with it’s head cut off” or “like a duck on a June bug.” – The Politically Incorrect Guide to the South.
Southerners love to sweeten their foods-from sweet tea to sugar on grits, everything is better when it is sweeter. Southern favorites include fried chicken, sweet corn bread, potato salad & collard greens. The more the food sticks to your ribs, the better. Large picnics, family get togethers and after church meals are all highly popular. If you attend those on a regular basis, you might be Southern.-Jessica Bold
You might be a Southerner if you call all carbonated drinks “Coke” not soda.
In the South, “tuckered out” means you are really tired.
Storytelling and swapping tales is a chief form of amusement in the South.
In the South, having food at gatherings is traditional, whether during times of sadness or happiness.
Sometimes, it gets so hot in the South, we make instant sun tea.
It can get so hot in the South, we have to spray the chickens down to keep them from laying fried eggs.
It can get so hot in the South, not only can you fry and egg on the sidewalk, you can make hash browns and toast to go with it.
It can get so hot in the South, you can wash and dry your clothes at the same time.
It can get so hot in the South, the trees start whistling for the dogs.
It can get so hot in the South, hot water comes out of both taps.
It gets so hot in the South, the hardware stores sell thermometers with readings of Fahrenheit, Celsius, and Holy Crap! ~~~Glen Frey
It can get so hot in the South, birds have to use pot holders to pull worms out of the ground.
It can get so hot in the South, your car overheats sitting in the driveway.
Gimme soaky bread with grits and gravy for breakfast, pinto beans with ham hocks for dinner and cracklin’ cornbread in buttermilk for supper and you’ll have yourself a happy man.~~~~Gene Owens, Columnist – talking about Southern treats.
The economy of the South has changed as the nation’s commercial landscape has become homogenized. Yet the region’s people still talk with Southern accents, walk more slowly than Northerners do, and make distinctively
Southern music (Nashville, bluegrass, country, Southern rock, and Appalachian).
They still think differently. And the place keeps producing well beyond its
share of great writers. ~~~Lisa Alther, Southern novelist, on why there are so many great Southern writers.
“In the South, the breeze blows softer… neighbors are friendlier, and more talkative. (By contrast with the Yankee, the Southerner never uses one word when ten or twenty will do)… This is a different place. Our way of thinking is different, as are our ways of seeing, laughing, singing, eating, meeting and parting. Our walk is different, as the old song goes, our talk and our names.”
-Charles Kuralt in Southerners: Portrait of a People
If you like cornbread n beans, black-eyed peas n grits, too. Catfish n turnip greens, and Southern barbecue
Love sweet, sweet tea and, of course, coke. In the spring n fall, eat salet made from poke
Add peach cobbler n buttermilk pie. Love okra, green tomatoes and chicken to fry.
Gumbo, biscuits n gravy, blackberry jam and a big old slab of country ham.
Made by the hands of a Southern cook, then you must be Southern in my book! ~~J. Yeager
You Know Your Church is A Southern Church if…the final words of the benediction are, “Ya’ll come back now!! Ya Hear”
The closest a man may ever come to givin up his life,
Is to cross the road without lookin, or cross his Southern wife!
“What is there to see in Europe? I’ll bet those foreigners can’t show us a thing we haven’t got right here in Georgia.”    ―      Margaret Mitchell,        Gone With the Wind


The North has coffee houses, the South has Waffle Houses.
The North has Cream of Wheat, the South has grits.
The North has double last names; the South has double first names.
The North has green salads, the South has collard greens.
The North has Indy car races; The South has stock car races.
The North has lobsters, the South has crawfish.
The North has the rust belt; the South has the Bible Belt. 
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Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mothers Day




Today... is Mothers Day.... and I am thinking to myself how blessed I am..

My own mom is 62... she'll be 63 in July.   It was great spending time with her and Daddy yesterday.  I talked to her earlier, and my Granny is going to Mom & Dad's house for dinner today.  Daddy's going to put ribs on the grill.  Momma fixed peas, and fresh snapped green beans with little red potatoes.  Sounds wonderful. 

My parents... and my granny.. are just simply the best.  Yes, my parents drive me crazy sometimes and I know I drive them crazy sometimes too, but I love them so much!!   And my granny?  *smile*  Granny is Awesome!!   She is the matriarch of our family... a true Southern Belle.  I've often thought there is a direct line... from Granny, to Momma, to me, and to my eldest daughter Amy.  A line of Belles.  Unfortunately the changing world waters us down a bit with each new generation.  We Southern women somehow just lack some of that grace that our Grandmothers had.  

I have friends who have lost their mothers.  I know ladies who's children have moved away, and unfortunately for whatever reason an adult child no longer calls their mom... not even today, on Mother's Day.  I cannot imagine how bad that hurts.  I realize how blessed I am.   Though our family is far from perfect, we are very close.   I can't imagine NOT spending time with my own mom... or my girls not at least calling me on Mother's Day.  

My daughters...my babies....  great grand-daughters of my Belle grandmother.. :)  are close with each other, and with me.  I think of how so many are not "close"... and that makes me realize how blessed I am.  

My daughter Amy gave me a beautiful gift yesterday.... she told me that she felt closer to me than she has in years... I started to cry, and just hugged her.  My adorable bald headed, dimpled, brown eyed baby grew up into a beautiful young woman, and she is maturing.. and now she is 'getting' it.  That everything I've ever said, or done, was because I love her and her lil' sister more than anything in this world.  I am my girls' biggest fan, biggest cheerleader.  No matter what my girls ever do in life, I only want their happiness.   

I know that one day, in God's own time, my girls will be mothers themselves... and that line will move to those future little Belles...   I know that I have not been a perfect mom, but I've always done the best I know how... even if I did the wrong thing, ultimately I did it for the right reason... and I know that my girls will be amazing mothers themselves one day.  I hope that one day, years from now, my daughters, on Mother's Day, will too reflect on their lives, and their families... and will also be able to know how blessed they are.  ♥

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

That's not just a full moon this week, it's a 'supermoon'



That's not just a full moon this week, it's a 'supermoon'



That's not just a full moon this week, it's a 'supermoon'


Skywatchers take note: The biggest full moon of the year is due to arrive this weekend.

The moon will officially become full Saturday at 11:35 p.m. EDT. And because this month's full moon coincides with the moon's perigee — its closest approach to Earth — it will also be the year's biggest.
The moon will swing in 221,802 miles (356,955 kilometers) from our planet, offering skywatchers a spectacular view of an extra-big, extra-bright moon, nicknamed a supermoon.

And not only does the moon's perigee coincide with the full moon this month, but this perigee will be the nearest to Earth of any this year, as the distance of the moon's close approach varies by about 3 percent, according to meteorologist Joe Rao, Space.com's skywatching columnist. This happens because the moon's orbit is not perfectly circular.

This month's full moon is due to be about 16 percent brighter than average. In contrast, later this year on Nov. 28, the full moon will coincide with apogee, the moon's farthest approach, offering a particularly small and dim full moon.

Though the unusual appearance of this month's full moon may be surprising to some, there's no reason for alarm, scientists warn. The slight distance difference isn't enough to cause any earthquakes or extreme tidal effects, experts say.

However, the normal tides around the world will be particularly high and low. At perigee, the moon will exert about 42 percent more tidal force than it will during its next apogee two weeks later, Rao said.
The last supermoon occurred in March 2011.

To view this weekend's supermoon to best effect, look for it just after it rises or before it sets, when it is close to the horizon. There, you can catch a view of the moon behind buildings or trees, an effect that produces an optical illusion, making the moon seem even larger than it really is.